Much of the world has greeted the transfer of power from President George W. Bush to President Barack Obama with sighs of relief if not shouts of joy. Although President Bush won a few friends in a few countries - his administration aided India and Israel and kept good relations with China, for instance - most people in most countries were happy to see him go. Despite his administration's late turn toward diplomacy, President Bush was seen as too militaristic, unilateral, and arrogant in his approach to the rest of the world.
President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have voiced their intention to follow a very different strategy. Diplomacy is back in vogue, with Secretary Clinton planning to rely on "smart power." No longer will the message from Washington be: "You're either with us or we'll bomb you." A new age has dawned, when international relations, if not the planet, have begun to heal.